Background - Practices (Details)



We Know the Industry: Crowell & Moring's pesticide practice group provides broad-based, practical, industry-focused legal counsel to leading multinational pesticide companies, trade associations and testing consortia with operations and interests in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Pesticides are among the most heavily regulated and scrutinized products in commerce. This is partly due to the fact that pesticides are intended to control a pest, and they are widely used in so many different settings where exposure to non-target organisms is possible. Agricultural pesticides are used on millions of acres of cropland, orchards, forests, and nurseries; consumer pesticide products such as insect repellents and turf products are used in virtually every residential setting; and antimicrobial products are used indoors in both industrial and residential settings. 

We Know the Investment: Bringing an active ingredient to market requires an investment of tens of millions of dollars—in research and development, as well as regulatory costs to demonstrate that the product performs as intended without causing unreasonable adverse effects. We help pesticide companies get and keep their regulated products on the market, protect their data compensation rights, and prepare for emerging litigation and regulatory threats. Because our attorneys have been in the business of representing and counseling the pesticide industry for over forty years, we know what is important and what is not so important.

We Know the Laws: The primary focus of our work in the pesticide area is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), but we also advise our clients in ancillary areas such as the Plant Protection Act (PPA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), and state programs that govern sales and use of pesticides. Members of our pesticide practice group possess decades of experience representing clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its Animal and Plant Health Inspection service (APHIS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other federal and state regulatory agencies, including the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR).

When Regulatory Troubles Turn to Torts: When our pesticide clients find themselves involved in toxic tort litigation, we turn to members of our litigation practice who have defended pesticide clients in district courts across the country, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and other courts and government agencies. Crowell lawyers have decades of experience with toxic tort, class action, and intellectual property litigations involving pesticides.

Representative Matters

  • Counseling and representing companies and testing consortia in connection with product registration and registration review under FIFRA (including conventional crop protection products, plant incorporated protectants (PIPs), biocides, and other industrial, institutional, and residential-use products).
  • Counseling on labeling and testing requirements, import and export requirements, marketing claims, new product development, reporting and record-keeping requirements, and the applicability of new regulations and evolving agency guidance.
  • Representing pesticide registrants and testing consortia in FIFRA data compensation disputes, including efforts to negotiate settlements, and cost-effective participation in arbitration proceedings where settlement efforts have proved fruitless. 
  • Representing companies and respondents with regard to petitions to deny or cancel pesticide product registrations under FIFRA.
  • Representing pesticide manufacturers and Crop Life America, the principal trade association representing manufacturer interests, in addressing novel issues arising from the interface between the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and FIFRA. These representations have included several litigations involving key issues of first impression.
  • Representing the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA), including their Antimicrobial Division and Pest Management Division before EPA’s Office of Pesticide Regulation. CSPA represents household and institutional brands of formulated products.
  • Representing pesticide testing consortia, including the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data, the MCPA Task Force, the MCPP-p Task Force, the 2,4-DB Task Force, and the Joint Glyphosate Task Force.
  • Advising clients on compliance with international regulatory regimes, such as the European Union’s Plant Protection Directive and the Biocide Products Regulation. 
  • Representing testing consortia and individual companies before Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency under that country’s Pest Control Products Act.
  • Representing registrants before EPA in FIFRA section 6 suspension and cancellation hearings, including cancellation hearings on chlordane/heptachlor, diazinon, and dinoseb.
  • Defending companies in enforcement actions.
  • Counseling chemical and pesticide companies on the opportunity to mitigate the risk of civil penalties under FIFRA through the effective use of EPA’s Self-Policing (“Audit”) policy.